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Other Magazines. CD players. Music Sheets. Concert Tickets. Groovy Objects books, mags, t-shirts Sell Compare. Price : 5. Format : CD single. CD single. Seller : funrec. Price : 3. Colin first hits France which is somewhat stable since the French were neutral during the acid war but when he makes his way to England things flip into a mass magical, mystery tour. How flipped-out? Tell it like it is, Brian: "When the Acid Head War broke out, undeclared, Kuwait had struck at all the prosperous countries.
As readers we can almost hear the lyrics from Eric Burdon's Spill the Wine playing in the background. As anybody knows who has been under the influence of psychedelics, the intensity of the present moment is so overwhelming, the first thing to disappear is time itself; it's as if all perceptions of past and future are tossed in a fire and go up in smoke. Brian Aldiss captures the essence of the acid experience when he has Colin reflect: "Acid Head victims all over the world had no problems of tedium; their madness precluded it; they were always occupied with terror or joy, which ever their inner promptings led them to; that was why one envied the victims one tried to "save.
As not to spoil, I'll shift to highlights, or should I say highs, a reader of Barefoot in the Head can look forward to: Wild Wordplay - Did I say the English language on psychedelics back there? The more pages one turns, the more Brian Aldiss plays with words and phrases and names - to list several: neologisms, puns, slang, malapropisms. One might even have a sense one is reading that Wake of Joyce: "Some weaker and fainter Bruxellois fell beneath beating feet to be beaujolaised under the press.
Cholera had to loot its victims standing at their bursting sweats ransacked to fertilise itself all round the strinkled garmen but bulging eyes not making much extinction in exprulsion between agony and ecstasy of a stockstill stampede sparked the harm beneath the harmony of many perished gaily unaware they burst at the gland and vein and head and vent and died swinging in the choke of its choleric fellation. As we know now, the year was but the first wave. Brian Aldiss anticipates many thousands of Westerners taking up the practice of meditation and yoga.
Ballard with cars and speed, cars and more speed, cars and crashing and bodies mangled. For someone the moment of truth had come big grind the necessary whiteout the shuttling metal death 3-Ding fast before the windscreen and still many marvellous microseconds safety before impact and the rictus of smiling fracture as the latent forces of acceleration actualize. Hey, this is and what is an acid trip without Allen Ginsberg-style reality sandwiches?
Once you are on the spiritual psychic acid trip throughout Europe, history has a funny way of asserting itself. This quote from the first pages: "He saw the wold-Europe, that is, precious, hated Europe that was his stage - purely as a fabrication of time, no matter involved.
View all 6 comments. Jul 27, Manny rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction , too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts , why-not-call-it-poetry. Oct 20, Austin rated it really liked it.
Anyhow, I guess I "enjoyed" this book, though really Barefoot in the Head is such an experimental work that I found myself more admiring its ambitions than gushing over its underdeveloped achievements.
It's basically a psychedelic relic from , a supposed sci-fi meisterwerk bathed in some of the nascent new-age woo going around at the time references to Gurdjieff and Ouspenky abound in which most of Europe finds itself literally tripping out constantly due to warfare between countries being fought with psychedelic drugs sprayed into the air. In other words, it takes place in the aftermath of an Acid War, and the protagonist, Charteris, begins the book sober and serious, unwounded by LSD, on a mission to drive across Europe toward Scotland.
After about 45 pages, he somehow gets some LSD in his system, and the reader begins to notice the prose changing little by little until finally syntax, meaning, spelling, the mechanics of language itself dissolve into formlessness, perspective shifts and non-sequitirs the narrator apparently got dosed too. There are many pages in the book where the narrative crumbles into bits of experimental poetry, doggerel, and even random letters strewn about the page. Charteris becomes some sort of messiah figure to a bunch of fellow young acidheads, and they follow him around Europe in a fleet of cars, getting into fights, fires, and trouble So much of the latter half of the book is Joycean-coded and somewhat Ergodic in nature i.
If you're stoned yourself, you may like this a lot. I'm so past my pot-smoking days that I got severe headaches from reading a lot of it. Still - for being intensely daring in its breaking of boundaries between narrative and meaninglessness, I have to give Barefoot in the Head major props. Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies. I, developed a syncretic spiritual doctrine combining Buddhism, Sufism, and Hinduism. Gurdjieff sought to awaken people's inner consciousness, teaching that, as people became disconnected from the truth of ancient teachings, they became more and more like automatons, rendering them sus Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies.
Gurdjieff sought to awaken people's inner consciousness, teaching that, as people became disconnected from the truth of ancient teachings, they became more and more like automatons, rendering them susceptible to control from outside forces, leading to episodes of mass psychosis like war. Gurdjieff's most famous disciple was Peter D. Ouspensky, who promulgated a practical Fourth Way for use by laymen in everyday life, "where a person learns to work in harmony with his physical body, emotions and mind".
The Gurdjieffians presaged esoterics who would help usher in the spiritual revolution of the s, including pseudoscience figures like Wilhelm Reich with his orgone accumulators and cloudbusters, and spiritual gurus like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Osho. The notion of following teachers of alternative ways grew into other areas. Amidst the revolution in social norms and confluence of countercultural currents in the s, charismatic bands like The Beatles and The Doors emerged and amassed literal "cult followings", both influenced by this social awakening and in turn contributing to its trippy drug-induced haze of youthful rebellious nonconformity.
This rejection of the conformist and materialist values of modern life all crystallized at the mass human be-in that was the Summer of Love of in "Hashbury", SF. It was here that Timothy Leary coined the phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out". Mind-altering drugs became commonplace. Ken Kesey took an acid-fueled bus "trip" across the country and held electric Kool-Aid acid tests for the public to experience the effects of psychedelics. Could the counterculture have been right?
Appalling shawls of illusion draped across the people where the grey mattered The setup is a classic what-if scenario: What if the whole world did like the counterculture suggests, and dosed acid -- a global acid trip.
Would it save or destroy the world? At a deeper level, what would it take to save the world from itself? Can it be saved? Is it worth saving? These are questions that remain just as relevant today, on the eve of a man-made ecological apocalypse.
The details may be different, but the parable remains apposite. Europe is bombed with aerosolized psychedelic drugs, sending the whole of the old world into a massive trip. The protagonist is on a journey north from France, and as the acid sets in, he begins to lose his grip on reality and to rant about the visions of alternate realities that appear before him. What began as a legible road trip narrative devolves into linguistic chaos that makes the protagonist's journey a nigh incomprehensible cacophony of baffling hallucinatory imagery.
Followers gradually accrue to the increasingly acid-addled, self-proclaimed Ouspenskian, and he becomes adulated like a messiah, shepherding the old technological order of greed and anxiety towards a new psychedelic order -- an apocalyptic prophet proclaiming rebirth in the death of diseased western civilization, midwived by weaponized lysergic acid diethylamide. In Flanders field, the suckling poppies rose poppy-high, puppying all along in the dugged days of war's aftermyth Like a post-apocalyptic parody of Ken Kesey's magic bus trip across the country, a Mad Maxist motorcade headed by this "self-imagined man", this neo-Christ, blasts across Europe in a meandering, delusional, anarchic crusade of renewal that becomes a self-destructive spiral into barbarism as the chosen ones forget all trappings of civilization and descend to eating slices of Christmas cactus.
Will this plague of mass insanity in the name of spiritual awakening save the world or destroy it? The guru's cult harnesses the power of the movies to spread the apocalyptic message. Cinema, once a tool for propaganda and cultural colonialism, is transformed into a gun aimed at the head of "wesciv".
The centerpiece of the biopic is a re-enactment of a multi-car pileup caused by the hapless messiah, which on the big screen is spun into a glossy, Ballard-esque orgiastic miracle of mangled flesh, the erstwhile victims symbolizing the old world, played by thespian dummies who in past days graced shop windows extolling the virtues of good old middle class values like dressing properly.
A Doors-like rock band meanwhile cheerleads the mass of roving acidheads a band not with a cult following but following a cult! Stylistically and aesthetically, this book is a tour-de-force. In arabesque, neologistic, idioglossic, polyglottal language "missing every fourth symbol of recorded time", Aldiss tells a story of revolt against the theft and oppression of late phase capitalism with its cubicles and oil gushers.
Of war, nuclear explosions, movies, messiahs, rock. Of a world perched on the back of a radioactive tortoise. With its wigged out groupies and kool-aid drinking culties to whom sex with the Master is a sacrament, the book also comments on the problematic nature of man's inclination to seek leaders, whether political or spiritual - our inborn desire to be led like sheep.
This is nothing new, harking back to the original cult, the well-known "cult of the third day", which worshipped "our nazerining friend embodying the rags to riches poorman's son outalk outsmart white-house-in-the-sky trouble-stirring miracle-working superman and then pow-wow-kersplat-but-oh-boy-on-the-third-day". Didn't I the one who moist you most with nakidity remembrane to membrainfever pudentically, or if not twot hot hand gambidexter pulping lipscrew bailing boat in prepucepeeling arbor of every obscene stance?
This is not a quick read. Pages can take hours to absorb - which does not equate to understanding. Many hours will be spent poring over sentences trying to make sense. Often they still won't. The narrative will be hazily grasped - vague goings-on punctuated by moments of lucidity. Which makes sense for what purports to be a book-length acid trip. Even after finishing the book, there are vast swaths of it that remain opaque. But the beauty of the book is that, much like reading Chaucer cold turkey in the original middle English, the haze begins to part and one gradually becomes acclimatized to the language and begins to understand and appreciate its density of allusion.
I can imagine finding "normal" writing somewhat boring and lacking after this dense, poetic explosion of incredibly creative prosemaking. Far from wanting the book to be over, my first urge on finishing it was to re-read it. But I'm not that masochistic. I for one appreciate Aldiss' application of WAKE technique to the form of modern genre fiction to make it more accessible, and to discover new modes of storytelling that expand the boundaries of sci-fi and inject it with a more literary quality.
The plot here is actually quite linear, and the density of verbiage gives it a weight it would not otherwise have. I won't claim that Aldiss has the linguistic knowledge or poetic genius of Joyce, but I think it was a stroke of genius to use Joyce's style to translate the otherwise very visual and visceral nature of an acid trip into a written equivalent. Was all of this really necessary, though?
Many readers might be put off by the constant incomprehensibility. You could argue that the story might have been better served by more strategic use of the WAKE effect. Much as I admire Aldiss as a prose stylist -- and I think he's the best there was in SF -- there's a little part of me that fears that he went a little too far here and should have reined it in a bit; that the gobbledygook is so much sound and fury, basically just word salad, glorified scat talk.
But that doesn't take away from my appreciation of the book. Artist see all. David Bowie. Pink Floyd. Duration see all. Box Set. Style see all. Blues Rock. Hard Rock. Pop Rock. Release Year see all. Record Label see all. Genre see all. Edition see all. Promo Filter Applied. Language see all. The web service Alexandria is granted from Memodata for the Ebay search. The SensagentBox are offered by sensAgent. Change the target language to find translations. Tips: browse the semantic fields see From ideas to words in two languages to learn more.
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